Screencapping with VirtualDub
I thought I would write this guide since this program is little understood as to how it can be utilized  for capping. At the current time there is no functionality in VirtualDub for autosaving multiple image captures to a directory, so in this tutorial I will demonstate how to use this software in conjunction  with Hypersnap-DX to cap a whole movie from a DVD. There is also a tutorial for taking a single capture and one for auto-capping.

 

 

Why use VirtualDub over other software?

The process is much more invovled, but with Vdub you are capping frames served directly from the source file when normally with most media and DVD players you would be capturing the overlay, which on some computers and with some software programs presents difficulties in doing this accurately. The difference can be seen here. If you are having quality issues with PowerDVD or any other software it might be worth your while checking this method out. There are quite a few other advantages of this program over others, including:

1. You can key forward or backward frame by frame by simply using the arrow keys on your keyboard. And, using in conjunction with Hypersnap-DX you can get the capping process down to a "one-hand" process whilst you use the other hand to do other things.

2. VirtualDubMod and VirtualDub-MPEG2 support DVD files - so with a couple of adjustments you can get caps from your DVD's.

3. You can resize your video to any size you desire with little loss in quality.

4. If your video is too dark (as many tv shows are) or there are other problems with the picture, there are many filters available to adjust the picture quality prior to capping.

5. The program is very quick loading. If you're ownly interested in obtaining one or two caps from an avi file it is much quicker than waiting for a media player to open.

6. Navigation between scenes and individual frames is very smooth and easy.
 

VirtualDub is freeware. Unfortunately however, Hypersnap is not - but there is a two week free trial period after which you have to pay US $35 for a license. There is most probably a freeware program somewhere that can also do the job but I've had no such luck in finding a good one. Hypersnap is a good all round professional capture program capable of doing many types of captures and you can even make favicons with it. In my opinion, it is well worth the money. If someone finds a freeware program let me know so I can update, adding a link to it.

I must stress though, this program picks up more detail than PDVD and other programs that use overlays. It is therefore, not suitable if you have a DVD  with a lot of noise in the background. I have a couple of Australian produced DVD's in my collection and these are not suitable for this software since the caps come out too grainy. However, there are filters available in the program that can offset this, although some experimentation is required. Many old films or cheaply produced films will not be suitable. Nonetheless, you can get excellent results with quality DVD's and HDTV files. This method is especially very well suited to avi files with excellent results.

This guide is divided into three parts:

1. Taking a single capture using VirtualDubMod

2. Taking multiple captures using VirtualDub and Hypersnap - how to cap DVD's.

3. Autocapping